UBS, a global wealth manager, and Village Capital, an organization that finds, trains and invests in entrepreneurs solving real-world problems, have launched the VC Pathways program.
VC Pathways is a national program that will train and support African American, Latinx and female founders to increase their competitiveness for seed-stage venture investment and early-stage incubator and accelerator programs.
The program will be launched in Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta, each of which were identified for their potential to support early-stage ventures.
Key to the implementation of the program are the local entrepreneur support organizations partnered with VC Pathways in each city, which include Philadelphia-based Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Atlanta-based Goodie Nation and Chicago-based I’m Black In Tech and Blue 1647.
VC Pathways will work with these partners to select a cohort of founders in each city to participate in a three-month program that provides entrepreneurs with hands-on training, advice and tailored engagements from mentors, investors, UBS executives and Financial Advisors who will help their companies become investment-ready.
Each local VC Pathways program will provide:
– Guidance through Village Capital’s VIRAL curriculum. Every entrepreneur in the program will receive training on the Venture Investment Readiness Awareness Level (VIRAL) curriculum;
– connections to angel investors; and
– business support for building a business, including Amazon Web Services (up to $5,000 in credits), access to a Kiva Zip Loan worth up to $10,000, up to $2,000 in grant funding awarded for hitting certain program milestones and network-building opportunities.
Participants will be primarily high-growth businesses that are tech-enabled, pre-seed or seed stage ventures, with an established minimum viable product and have less than $500k in revenue or raised funds. Priority will be given to startups solving problems within Village Capital’s five investment areas: Education, Healthcare, Financial Technology, Agriculture and Energy.